Rising up in Mexico Metropolis, Armando Munoz didn’t got down to develop into a tattoo artist. However all of that modified when alternative fairly actually got here and knocked on his door when a buddy of his introduced over a tattoo machine asking the creative Munoz to repair the crappy tattoo he had simply gotten. Greater than a decade later Munoz is making a reputation for himself with some attractive coloration realism bordering on the surreal. We spoke with the artist recognized all through the business as Armandean about his inspirations, his design course of and extra.
When did you first uncover a love for artwork?
Once I was a baby I found that I discovered higher whereas drawing in school. Clearly that was one thing nearly unlawful for academics [laughs] however I used to be at all times the kid they selected to attract [for] college occasions. A while after that my mom gave me a set of oil paints and I fell in love.
How did you start your tattoo profession? Did you’ve gotten an apprenticeship or study by yourself?
I by no means had associates who tattooed or talked in regards to the topic, that didn’t exist in my circle of associates, nonetheless, everybody knew I drew. Sooner or later one buddy got here to my home with a Vans shoebox and inside he had a tattoo machine with a tube and needle filled with dry ink, a pair of gloves and a few rustic provides. He requested me to repair a tattoo he had gotten a number of hours earlier. That was my first contact with the tattoo. I by no means had an apprenticeship in a tattoo store, I discovered by tattooing my associates, neighbors and household. Don’t be concerned, all these tattoos have already been mounted.
How did you discover your technique to coloration realism? I had the chance to color in numerous functions corresponding to oil and acrylic earlier than tattooing. It was not straightforward however at the very least I had a notion about coloration theories, tonal values, and so forth. Nevertheless, I continue to learn and day by day I uncover new issues.
What’s it about coloration realism that continues to encourage you? What do you discover most difficult in regards to the type? I at all times attempt to make realism the central focus of the piece, though I like to include components that may perform as stability and that aesthetically stream with the physique. I like to combine realism with lyrical abstraction. I like the concept of leaving a novel piece and never simply [creating] a real copy of an present picture.
Do you ever end up working in black-and-grey? Sure, I truthfully contemplate myself very versatile, I tattoo nearly every part, from infinity symbols to very advanced items. Black-and-grey is a development individuals ask for lots and which I do so much, however personally I really feel extra comfy and happier doing coloration.
How would you describe your signature type? My associates in Mexico christened it “Armanshit” [laughs]. I truthfully have no idea learn how to outline it or learn how to catalog it. Truly, in conventions it’s troublesome to [place] my work. However I wish to think about that it’s a combination of realism, with summary artwork and expressionism.
You do numerous surrealist portraiture. Do you create your individual references? How do you go about doing so? Surreal portraits are my favourite. Earlier than tattooing I used to be very concerned in collage, I used to chop out magazines and from two totally different faces [create] one, matching the proportions and views. Presently it’s what I do however digitally, I take references from magazines, blogs and picture shares to make compositions and create a brand new character.
What are a few of your favourite topic issues to tattoo? I actually get pleasure from making faces mixed with darkish components. I just like the duality that may be seen in a tattoo about good and evil, not precisely demons, however monsters with many textures, and delightful faces mixed with free strokes that can provide a stability to the physique.
Who’re a number of the artists, tattoo or in any other case, you’re impressed by? There are various, however to say a number of, Wassily Kandinsky, Arturo Rivera, Jackson Pollock, Guillermo Lorca, Gustav Klimt and Jean-Michel Basquiat for portray. Rember, Sean Foy, Timur Lysenko, AD Pancho and Lukas SMYKU for tattoo artists. I certainly have many extra.